Read: Malachi 3:18 |
One of God’s faithful missionaries, Allen Gardiner, experienced many physical difficulties and hardships throughout his service to the Savior.
Despite his troubles, he said, “While God gives me strength, failure will not daunt me.” In 1851, at the age of 57, he died of disease and starvation while serving on Picton Island at the southern tip of South America.
When his body was found, his diary lay nearby. It bore the record of hunger, thirst, wounds, and loneliness. The last entry in his little book showed the struggle of his shaking hand as he tried to write legibly. It read, “I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God.”
Oh my goodness, how many of us would be motivated to serve God under these circumstances? In fact, allow me to broaden the question – What is your motive for serving God in the first place?
These questions require that we face a spiritual mirror and examine ourselves. The mirror will likely reveal that our faith and maturity are the result of our obedience and submission to God’s will for our lives. Sometimes our obedience lags behind our faith because our motives are not heart-felt. Other times, our motives may be in line with God.
To make things happen requires motivation
After researching, compiling and categorizing various authors’ astute opinions on what motivates us to serve God, I sub-divided the topics into two groups: Things that motivate us to serve God and de-motivators that drain our inclination to serve God.
Over the next few postings, we will use the table below as a road-map to provide a biblical basis for these enablers and barriers to our motivation to serve God. I imagine that Brother Allen Gardiner possessed each of these motivators!
|Reward||Serve Him for the reward of His fellowship and presence in your life; God rewards those who seek to follow Him (Joshua 1:8)||Job 1:6-12|
|Fear||Serve Him with a reverent fear and respect for His power, presence and protection||Acts 5:1-5,10-11|
|Duty||We are called to Serve Him||Eccl 12:12-14|
|Love||Serve Him out of love, compassion, gratefulness;
Serve Him because of His grace and mercy;
Serve with your heart, soul and mind.
|Joy||Serve Him joyfully;
The joy of the Lord is our strength
|Unrighteousness||Do not feel “holy” enough to serve because of incorrect desires, sin or willful disobedience||Jer. 15:18-20; Luke 7:7|
|Burn-out||No energy to serve Him and to keep pressing past the disappointment, lack of gratitude, failure and challenges||Opposite of:
2 Cor. 4:8;
|Rationalization||Not sure if we have the time, talent, treasure necessary to serve Him; Others are more gifted than I am;
Not sure if we could meet the expectations;Past failures give a feeling of despair and futility;
Not willing to work outside of our comfort zone
|I Cor. 15:58;
|Procrastination||Not able to consistently get past making the decision to serve Him to actually doing what we decided to do||Matt. 20:1-24;
You are in charge of your motivation level!
Your motivation is the fuel for your spiritual effectiveness and productivity. Ensure that you cultivate motivation builders and avoid motivation barriers. God will give you strength, for He said in 1 Peter 4:11 — “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Series Outline with links:
1. Reward – Serve Him for the reward of His fellowship and presence in your life
2. Fear – Serve Him with a reverent fear and respect for His power, presence and protection
3. Duty – Serve Him dutifully; we are called to serve Him
4. Love – Serve with all your heart, soul and mind
5. Joy – Serve Him joyfully; the joy of the Lord is our strength
1. Temptation and Sin – Cannot serve Him because I’m not “holy” enough
2. Burn-out Part 1 – Cannot serve Him because I’ve lost motivation and energy
3. Burn-out Part 2 – Cannot serve Him because I need to refuel and reload
4. Rationalization – Future – Cannot serve Him because I don’t have the time, talent, treasure necessary
5. Procrastination – Future – Cannot serve Him because I’m not able to find the right opportunity and follow through
1. Discover –
A. Name the top 3 things that motivate you to serve God?
B. Did you find any “Motivators” or “De-Motivators” that impact you that are missing on the above table? Please share.
A. How do you approach serving God? Do you actively say to yourself I feel God calling me to teach Sunday School so I will do it out of Love and Duty? Or do you have a different approach?
B. When you feel the Holy Spirit calling you to do something you are not sure about? What do you usually do? Give in or give out and escape?
3. Demonstrate –
A. Does your life demonstrate a life that serves God? Explain
B. What would your spouse or family say to the question above?</span></html>